About Bothwell Castle
Bothwell Castle is a stunning ruined medieval stronghold near Glasgow and one of the most celebrated of its kind. Begun by the Morays, an important aristocratic family, in around 1242, Bothwell Castle was intended to be a large and imposing fort. The tower or “donjon” which remains there today offers a glimpse into the Morays’ vision.
Construction of Bothwell Castle had to be ceased, thought to be due to the fact that the Wars of Independence broke out in 1296. It was never completed. Yet, despite its unfinished state, Bothwell Castle did play a role in the Wars of Independence.
It was subjected to several sieges and being taken by each of the opposing sides several times. The most famous of these attacks occurred in 1301. At this time, Edward I laid siege to Bothwell and, with a force of almost seven thousand, the English eventually succeeded in taking the castle.
In 1362, Bothwell Castle passed to the aristocratic Black Douglas family by marriage and they rebuilt it. Whilst not adhering to the structure of the Morays, the new Bothwell Castle was still formidable and parts of it – notably its chapel – can still be seen.